Dear Parishioners !
In our parish, St.Paul’s in Bergen, we are now over 19 thousand faithful from more than 120 countries in the world. This large and varied crowd has to face some challenges when trying to find room and time in church, when communicating with the priests and the parish office, and when communicating with each other. However, first of all this represents a variety and wealth of spiritual expression and religious practice. An abundance of culture and human experience. Each and every one of you brings so much and contributes to building this parish, to making it what it should be – a powerful testimony of our Lord Jesus Christ. You participate in building the social fabric of your different national groups and also of the parish as a whole. The fact that you are here is important for our town and for our society not only because of your work but also because you are who you are and, above all, because you are practising Christians, Catholic Christians. We are so different but at the same time so alike. Being diverse, and one in Christ.
It is important that we recognise each other, accept each other and take care of each other as Christian faithful and that we collaborate to achieve our shared aim – to build the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church. Jesus Christ is the head and we all are its members and hence, each of us has a task to carry out.
We are celebrating today the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, which is at the same time our parish feast. The feast which symbolizes our unity and our being together in our diversity in this parish. On this occasion I want to express my warm greetings to all of you in St. Paul’s parish and at the same time I want to thank God that He has gathered us together here, to be one in the Church and that He invites us to share the Bread and drink from the Chalice and makes us one in Christ and in unity with each other.
One may ask – why are we here? God called on us in a variety of ways and we have come to Bergen and St. Paul’s parish along many different routes. Some have come from the Norwegian fjords and valleys, some from different parts of the globe. God wants us to witness to His Son, Jesus Christ. And we shall do that through our lives as Catholic Christians, through our actions and sometimes also through our words. I see your testimonies and I am grateful for that and I want to say thank you to you all for your contribution to making the Kingdom of God grow in this parish and this city.
May God bless you in all your good works
Your parish priest
Dom Alois Brodersen Can.Reg.